Homework 2

It happened in a roll in two days, your apologize and her pictures.

That was a a picture being retweeted for too many times, by all of us. I tease that Hollywood just has to have one love story resemblant to One Day every year to grab the attention of their academically inexperienced audience. And that has always been my least favorite movie. It is even not a love story. But the picture she repost, again, reminds me of it, so does your dismayed emoji at the end of a sentence with a negative modal verb.

Time passes in linear sequence. That’s how we perceive it. But it’s such a relative thing when I say every time I see you, I feel my love to the whole world deepened. The progress is not linear. It is jumpy, consists of ups and downs, highlights and dark spots. I do miss everything I left by My ocean, as time pass by, however, I start to go back to the ocean more and more. The violent song of the sea, the fierce crush of each wave on the shore, the damp morning air recharging every pour on my skin. I closed my eyes and felt summer in the winter, on my hair, my eyelids and each of my eye lash. Flower blossoming in February, all restaurants and cafes already put up roses and candles. Aisles in the groceries are decorated by heart shaped cookies, red and pink balloons, cards with sweet words, and stuffed bears hugging chocolate boxes.

Everything is planned, yet none fell into the original plan. How beautiful and trustworthy the reality is. How wrong Neil and so many great writers are when they talk about this world even if they are telling the truth.

One day before my leaving, the two socks just made this world the worst place exactly the same way the Sherlock T-shirt made it the best three years ago. It is hard to believe this world is always the same one, it is just that one tiny dot the tiny neutron like dust in this universe has the ability to change it all.

Lennox could put up a fake look at the end thus is no end, but there is no second Marlowe to turn the possibility into reality. People say it’ll get easier if you experience this for too many times. Well now I could ensure you it does get easier but also more complicated, much more complicated. Emotionally the old cushion still works, maybe a bit mending would do the job, but things doesn’t happen for no reason. It is harder to do the reasoning and persuasion. When people are more experienced, their hearts and mind get tougher to be convinced. Only logic has a chance and when it fails it puts an end to the whole task. Looking at the flesh and blood splashing is easier than dealing with this kind of silent conciliation.

The time is so close and approaching in a way that I could do nothing to stop. I was looking forward to this moment for so long but never expect it coming as such. Where would I go, what would I do, what would we talk about when we don’t mention my past? I even don’t know how to get around the lake, the wind, the street lights, the brick boxes…Suddenly I’m an orphan again, though I don’t feel it that way.


Will you be mad at me if… Your tone is so different from mine when we talk about the exact same thing. I told instead of asking, though I was the one want a negative answer badly. So I said no, so I told you the exact opposite and I thought this is the best answer simply because it once was your answer. But what if I say yes? What if I say I am so mad and so sad and so desperate and I want a definite answer and I want you to elaborate every ripple and storm once touched or swiped your heart?

But I’m not the orphan I thought I’d be there. It is still my home, a home that no one else in this world ever understood. I see the kind of love so persistent that it leads to an eternity where everything collapsing and converging and fading away. I tried to put on a serious face, but all I could say to the lake is I love you. That conversation didn’t last long, like all of our invalid conversations about relationship. True, I’m a reckless one. So you lead this to a point that I feel if I don’t do something as a pay off, I’d owe it too much to clean my debt. Bad credit is the very beginning sign of a break up, don’t you agree?

Your best friends put on a magnet sign on the wall, welcoming me to their sweet hotel home. That’s the moment I got so confused about whether you brought this to me or you are all gifts from the city. You are different. They are different. I’d love to keep working on my homework, but why I feel myself graduated without submitting the most important piece?


What’s her major? This is non-political.


It’s been two years and this story is still one of the best two in my life. I’m grateful that every time I look back, I still see the door your opened for me wide open. Look how far I’ve come this way, in this world. I see you are well, and I’m grateful for that too.

The Touch


I send this to the doctor, he asked me, “Is the heart better?” Well, I think it is, because it has the brain. It will always get better, and it will always have the courage to go for what it wants without being afraid of getting hurt because and as long as it has the brain.


War and Peace

I want to live a simple life, you know, that kind of absolute simple life.

Wake up in the morning with the 7 a.m. honey hue sunshine, take a shower with you using my favorite almond flavor shampoo, you will dry me in the huge warm white towel, we get dressed together and have an egg sandwich and milk, then drive to work. My coworkers are nice and funny, but the work is like s**t, you sometimes complain about the pressure, and I agree with you. Every now and then, we say swear words about our bosses, or we tell jokes that we made with our colleagues. Some times I don’t have time to reply to your texts, some times you forget to remind me we had a dinner plan. Dinner is always late on workdays, we usually cook at home for one hour, and you cry over chopping onions, I laugh every time and hand you the tissue. Sometimes you cook with the apron on, sometimes with nothing on; sometimes I wear the apron, and only the apron, sometimes I wear your t-shirt. We take turns to do dishes to make it fair, and we take turns to use the same bathroom in our bedroom. I like the sound of the water flushing down the pipe, with the sound of you gargling. I almost smell your shaving gel with the razor’s tiny vibrating sound while I’m reading in bed, of course on my side, although we both know that this wouldn’t last long. We chat about the day, and our weekend plan, the old friend of yours started a new job, and our neighbor just got another cat. I don’t think about anyone else or any time else. I hear you, and only you. You always fall asleep in the middle of our nonsense.

I want to live a simple life like this, that could hide all kinds of endless wars within. You know me, so you always know what is going on, but you let me be, and you let the wars going on, the woods burning, the earth cracking, you just let it be. I know you too, so I always see through your eyes and hear through your words, but I let it go, I let the secrets conceal, the truth float, the news silenced, I just let them all go.


Two year later after the trip, the dark dawn at Interlochen still keeps poppin up my mind. I realized that moment, that memory is one of those dots that give meaning to our linear life, that we will remember forever.

I’m the only one guest that night at the Creekside Cottage, the wooden houses connect 137 and a small forest area. The host living in the two floor house next to the hostel was out for a party. I parked the car, got into the the tiny reception area, read the instruction listed on a plastic sealed booklet. There is an envelope with a key inside. I opened the sagging door, walked into the large room with several old bunks and an open kitchen. The shower left a dark red trace on the wall, but there’s a note right next to it, saying the color is due to high mineral in the spring water. “It’s really good for you skin.”

I turned on the gas fireplace, a light gas smell came out. I took out of my Kindle, the ebook S had been insisted that I should use to substitute all of my paperbacks. But the fire and the dark lamp light prevent me from reading more. I drifted into a dream of summer under the old but clean blanket, full clothes on.

That is really, the first night I spent by myself, in the first and only trip that I’ve ever had alone.

I woke up at dawn. It was still dark outside, the only light is from the porch of a small brunch place across the street. Bud’s. That light is like the lamp light from my hostel, dim, lonely, but also comfortingly warm. I went across the street, hoping to get something to eat. But it was dark inside, on the window says open 7a.m..

That is the last thing I remembered from Interlochen. The sight-blinding heavy snow, and the warm porch light from Bud’s in the navy blue dawn.

Onward:How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul-Howard Schultz and Joanne Gordon

“As a business leader, my quests has never been just about winning making money; it has also been about building a great, enduring company, which has always meant trying to strike a balance between profit and social conscience.”-loc 103

“At the same time, a seismic shift in consumer behavior was under away, and people became not just more cost conscious, but also more environmentally aware, health minded, and ethically driven.” -loc 119

“That, as I’ve said, is what merchants do. We take something ordinary and infuse it with emotion and meaning, and then we tell its story over and over and over again, often without saying a word.”-loc 289

“The next time you walk by a coffee shop, peer inside. take in the variety of people in line or seated. Men and women in business attire. Parents with strollers. College students studying. High school kids joking. couples deep in conversation. Retired folks reading newspapers and talking politics. And, of course, scores of people sitting in front of laptops searching, downloading, listening, reading and writing books, blogs, business plans, resumes, letters, e-mails, instant messages, texts…whatever their hearts desire. Consider how many of those people furiously clicking away on keyboards and scribbling ideas on napkins might be working to create the next Google , Alibaba, or Facebook, or composing a novel or a piece of music. Maybe they are falling in love with someone sitting next to them. Or making friend.”-loc 296

“But beginning in the late 1990s, social responsibility also became a marketplace imperative.”-loc 392

“In 2001 Starbucks committed to purchasing one million pounds of Fairtrade certified coffee; no long after, our Faritrade purchases reached 10 million pounds, making us North America’s largest purchaser, roaster, and retailer of Fairtrade green coffee beans.”-loc 415

“A well-built brand is the culmination of intangibles that do not directly flow to the revenue or profitability of a company, but contribute to its texture. Forsaking them can take a subtle, collective toll.”-loc 483

When we went to automatic espresso machines, we solved a major problem in terms of speed of service and efficiency. At the same time, we overlooked the fact that we would remove much of the romance and theater that was in play…”-loc 491

“In my life I place enormous value on loyalty and trust. It is intrinsic to my personal relationships and to the integrity of our company’s culture, essential to how we conduct business with one another and with our customers. And while Starbucks is not perfect, nor am I, and people may disagree with some of our choices, we make it our business to uphold that trust, and we make amends if we fail.”-loc 532

“The merchant’s success depends on his or her ability to tell a story. What people see or hear or smell or do when they enter a space guides their feelings, enticing them to celebrate whatever the seller has to offer.”-loc 663

“Our answer had been to build more stores as fast as we could.
Our strategy was to do more of what had worked in the past.
But we were not pushing ourselves to do things better or differently. We were not innovating in lasting ways.”-loc 678

“But I had resisted the idea of serving hot food from day one. While I encouraged innovation, I never envisioned people coming into Starbucks for a sandwich. Many customers, however, embraced the warm breakfast sandwich, grateful for a tasty, more substantial food offering. The more popular they became, the more our baristas had to heat them in our warming ovens. And when they did, the sandwiches’ cheese will inevitably drip and then sizzle in the ovens, releasing a pungent smell. Whatever rich, hearty coffee aroma remained in the store was overwhelmed by singed Monterey Jack, mozzarella, and, most offensively, cheddar. The smell further chipped away at our narrative. Where was the magic in burnt cheese?”-loc 696

“During our conversation, he didn’t reveal any client’s confidence. I noted his discretion. There was a reason I had never heard of the firm. Being under-the-radar is part of its value.”-loc 819

“One of the decisions I made was to eventually eliminate the newly created position of chief operating office and, instead, to have Starbucks’ most senior leaders report directly to the CEO.I wanted a clear line of sight into every aspect of our operations, from supply chain to store design to everything in-between.”-loc 879

“‘We earned our respect and recognition because of one reason: the quality of our people. Thank you for all you’ve done in contributing to the success we have enjoyed. I ask that you do everything you can to support the new initiatives and help get this company back, find our voice, find our soul, and make our customers and partners proud to be associated with Starbucks.'”-loc 1114

“While most companies have access to the same high-quality arabica beans that Starbucks insists on purchasing, it is what happened to beans after they are harvested that further sets coffee companies apart from one another. No organization has the same combination of original technology and knowledge as Starbucks, and thus none can match the uniqueness and consistency of the coffees that we roast, blend, and serve on a global scale.”-loc 1439

“The project’s code name was Consistent brew.
They’d set up camp in the tasting room across from my office on the eighth floor, and through the room’s large viewing window anyone could stop and watch their trails. For two weeks, shot glasses were lined up along countertops as our tasters blended, roasted, cupped, and commented on sample after sample. Their first coffees used beans from Colombia, Guatemala, and Sumatra, which they roasted at a combination of temperatures to discover the perfect match between timing and heat, a relationship called the roast curve. During the first two weeks, the team created more than a dozen combination.”
Some were too tart or sour.
Others metallic or aggressive, papery or acidic.
By the end of the month, after experimenting with almost 30 recipes and roast curves, most had been eliminated.
Then, in a consumer taste test on December 3, one sample stood out as superior. Consistent Brew 19 was round, smooth, and balanced and exhibited a mild, sweet finish. Jackpot…almost. It was not yet perfect, so throughout the 2007 holiday season, right up until New Year’s Eve, the team roasted Consistent Brew 19 again and again and again.
Finally, in January 2008, they hit the mark with a flavor profile that did not abandon Starbucks’ roasting philosophy but, whether it was served black or with cream and sugar, delighted more people’s palates. The winning blend was balanced but rich in flavor.
We named it Pike Place Roast, after our first store. I thought the name should be as symbolic as the coffee. In theory as well as in flavor, Pike Place Roast was a nod to our past while embracing our future. It was one of the most transformative blends we had ever created, in part because it spoke to an audience that had yet to become part of Starbucks’ community. and we were excited to welcome them.”-loc 1484

“But there was an even more important reason that I chose to eliminate comps from our quarterly reporting. They were a dangerous enemy in the battle to transform the company. We’d had almost 200 straight months of positive comps, unheated-of momentum in retail. And as we grew at a faster clip during 2006 and 2007, maintaining that positive comp growth history drove poor business decisions that veered us away from our core.”-loc 1544

“Ensuring that communication is narrow, clear, and repetitive to set expectations wins people’s trust.”-loc 1650

“Like a doctor who measured a patient’s height and weight every year without checking blood pressure or heart rate, Starbucks was not diagnosing itself at a level of detail that would help ensure its long-term health. We predicated future success on how many stores we opened during a quarter instead of taking the time to determine whether each of those stores would, in fact, be profitable. We thought in terms of millions of customers and thousands of stores instead of one customer, one partner, and one cup of coffee at a time.
With such a mind-set, many little things dangerously slipped by unnoticed, or at least went unacknowledged. How could one imperfect cup of coffee, one unqualified manager, or one poorly located store matter when millions of cups of coffee were being served in tens of thousands of stores?
We forget that ‘ones’ add up.”-loc 1658

“In these early days, no one could predict the extent of our challenges, especially with regard to the economy. Any fear I had was overshadowed by my own enthusiasm and morning-to-night activity. As with all new beginnings-a marriage, a baby, a presidency-the inevitability of future hardship was buried by the momentum and possibility of it all.”-loc 1699

“That morning I wrapped up my remarks with this:
A week before I came back as CEO, both my children asked me, ‘Dad, why are you going back? You don’t need this.’ I told them that if I think about the two things I love in my life, it is our family and this company. There is not anything I would not do for my family, just like everyone in this room. And there is nothing I would not do for this company.
I will hold myself to the highest level of accountability. I will walk through and climb over every wall to make sure that we get to the place that we deserve…but no one in this room, including myself, can do this alone. There has never been a time in the history of the company that we needed each other more than we need each other now.“-loc 1762

“Our aspiration
To become an enduring, great company with one of the most recognized and respected brands in the world, known for inspiring and nurturing the human spirit.”-loc 1791

“Their instruction during this ‘seeing’ exercise was to consider each retail experience not as a merchant or an operator, but from the point of view of a customer. What did they witness, smell, and hear? What non verbal cues enhanced the experience?”-loc 1851

“Our partners’ attitude and action have such great potential to make our customers feel something. Delighted, maybe. Or tickled. Special. Grateful. Connected. Yet the only reason our partners can make our customers feel good is because how our partners feel about the company. Proud. Inspired. Appreciated. Cared for. Respected. Connected.”-loc 1967

“For every bottle of Ethos Water sold in our stores, five cents goes toward providing children with access to clean water. In an unprecedented move, we extended health-care coverage to thousands of part-tie workers.”-loc 1994

“Unfurling a map, they pointed to geographic regions clustered around the equator; all were endangered areas that are home to irreplaceable plant and animal life. These biodiversity ‘hot spots’ are climate change’s ground zero. The trouble is not only that these ecosystems are at risk for destruction by human deforestation, but also that the burning and clearing of forests contributes 20 percent of the world’s carbon emission-twice as much as all the world’s vehicles combined. Twice as much.
Coincidentally, these hot spots are also located in areas where farmers grow some of Starbucks’ most precious coffees….
Starbucks would re-up its partnership with Conservation International with a $7.5 million commitment over three years. In this next phase of our partnership, we would, one, measure the impact of our C.A.F.E Practices to ensure that we were making a positive difference for the people and place we intended. Two, we would link small farmers to global carbon markets. And three, we would stand shoulder to shoulder with Conservation International and more actively and vocally share our efforts.”-loc 2010

“…for a company with Starbucks’ high traffic flow, superiorly engineered semiautomatic machines provides an unmatchable level of consistency, delivering high-quality shots millions of times a day despite multiple variables-temperature, humidity, barometric pressure-that affect espresso’s quality from bean to cup.”-loc 2026

“2008…this year I intended to use the stage to rebuild confidence in our future. We would announce six new consumer-facing transformation initiatives.”-loc 2151 and the mastrena is one of them, the other five are Conservation International; the rewards card; MyStarbucksIdea.com; Pike Place Roast, and Clover

We are at what historians call an ‘open moment,’ when societies come together and real change is possible. Starbucks’ ability to reach millions of people in the market every day and connect them to the land and to the people that grow coffee is critical. Through this partnership, Starbucks is stepping up to support the well-being of farmers, protect ecosystems, and educate consumers to become part of the climate change solution-triple benefits…
we had designed o articulate our practices:’Responsibly Grown. Ethically Trade. Proudly Served.'”- loc 2211

“Compared to a year earlier, global operating income for the quarter has sunk an unbelievable 26 percent, to $178 million. Earnings were down 28 percent, to $109 million, as our operating margins shrank from 10.7 percent to 7.1 percent of net revenue.”-loc 2382

“Each Starbucks store has its own fingerprint.
At first blush, they appear and sound alike-the music, the hues, the menu-and the Starbucks you visit on vacation may feel as familiar as the Starbucks in your hometown. But it’s also true that, like any local cafe, every Starbucks is a little bit different. The reason is simple. The people.”-loc 2431

“…wherever they were, whoever they were, customers could order their coffees and espressos in more than 80,000 different combinations. During their morning commute or a midday coffee break. On a blind date or with friends. While studying for exams, reading the Sunday paper, or writing a book.
Variety-to accommodate the habits, whims, and desired of human behavior-has always been a Starbucks staple.
Our retailed partners are as diverse as the people they serve and the beverages they customize. People wearing our green aprons represent almost every race and religion. We employ twentysomethings and grandparents, single moms in need of health-care coverage, and artists in need of rent. For some, Starbucks is a stopgap gig between jobs, while others hope to build a career with the company. Whether part-timers or full-timers, Starbucks partners include high school kids saving for college, college kids in pursuit of degrees, recent grads, many in search of themselves, former executives, and people who vowed never to work in an office.
‘Behind every barista is a story,’ reads a poster hanging in the lobby of our Seattle support center. It’s true.
Amidst all the variety in each store, one individual is responsible for finding common grounds. One person is in a position to nurture a welcoming environment where everyone will feel comfortable and can connect.
The store manager.
Starbucks’ best store managers are coaches, bosses, marketers, entrepreneurs, accountants, community ambassadors, and merchants all at once. They are optimistic problem solvers who run their stores creatively yet analytically, calling upon passion and intelligence to drive customer traffic, partner loyalty, and profit. The best managers take their jobs personally, treating the store as if it is their very own.”-loc 2437

“We were closing almost 20 percent of our newest stores! We thought all we had to do was show up to be successful, I thought to myself. As I stared at the list of 600, a lesson resonated: Success is not sustainable if it’s defined by how big you become. Large numbers that once captivated me-40,000 store! – are not what matter. The only number that matters is ‘one’. One cup. One customer. One partner. One experience at a time. We had to get back to what mattered most.”-loc 2578

“Around the world, people, myself included, were beginning to live healthier lifestyles, exercising more often and seeking our low-fat, low-sugar, and natural foods. For Starbucks, catering to this movement, which is as much socially as it is medically driven, is not only wise marketing, but also in sync with our values and or mission.”-loc 2756

“What happened? I asked myself. Had my thirst for innovation blinded me? Starbucks had once been so good at creating products that right our of the gate transformed customer behavior…
I’d brashly embraced Sorbetto as a silver bullet.
But there is no such thing.
Not growing our store count. Not new coffee blends. Not loyalty or value programs. Not healthier foods and drinks.
Yes, opportunities to transform Starbucks for profitable, sustainable growth existed everywhere, but no single move, no product, no promotion, and no individual would save the company. Our success would only be won by many. Transforming Starbucks was a complex puzzle we were trying to piece together. Where everything we did contributed to the whole. We just had to focus on the right, relevant things for our partners, for our customers, for our shareholders, and for our brand.”-loc 2801

“Our challenge was finding individuals whose accomplishments were matched by their value and an innate sense for Starbucks’ culture. This is a very fragile balance to strike, because the wrong match can pollute the integrity of the company.”-loc 2932

“…I needed to surround myself with strong talent who would bring new ideas, and with courage, challenge the old as well as challenge me.”- loc 2961

“‘Onward’ implied optimism with eyes wide open, a nerve-ending journey that honored the past while reinventing the future.
‘Onward’ meant fighting with not just heart and hope, but also intelligence and operational rigor, constantly striving to balance benevolence with accountability.
‘Onward’ was about forging ahead with steadfast belief in ourselves while putting customers’ needs first and respecting the power of competition.
Yes, everyone at Starbucks could indulge his or her passion-be it for coffee, the environment, marketing, or design- but only if we did not lose sight of the need for profits.
‘Onward’ was about getting dirty but coming out clean; balancing our responsibility to shareholders with social conscience; juggling research and finances with instinct and humanity.
And ‘onward’ described the fragile act of balancing by which Starbucks would survive our crucible and thrive beyond it. With heads held high but feet firmly planted in reality. This was how we would win.
I knew this to be true.”-loc 2976

“Every time a barista had to tell a customer, ‘Sorry, we’re out of vanilla syrup’ or ‘We didn’t receive our banana shipment so I can’t make your Vivanno,’ the fragile trust between Starbucks and our partners and between Starbucks and our customers fractured.”-loc 3053

“Fault didn’t lie with SCO’s current leaders or managers, but rather with our culture. Starbucks had a pattern of promoting talented people into new roles to stretch and develop them, even if they did not always seem to have the obvious credentials. For years that worked fine, and our people loved the opportunities, but our supply chain operations in particular had become too sophisticated to simply allow well-meaning, hardworking people to learn on the job, even if they were committed to success. SCO desperately needed specialists, not generalists.”- loc 3088

“‘I could just easily go to a 7-eleven,’ he said matter-of-factly. then he shared a conversation that he and his wide had had at their kitchen table that past weekend as they reviewed their family’s budget, just as millions of other families had been doing of late. ‘My wife asked whether I could give up my daily Starbucks.’ Standing there in the back room, he recounted his reply. ‘Let me tell you why I cannot give it up. Because it’s not about a cup of coffee. I have a tough job. I see things on a daily basis that no one should see and experience. But the one good thing I can count on every single day is how the people in that store make me feel.’ Then he addressed me directly, ‘I want to tel you about your employees. they know my kids’ names. They know where I go on vacation. They write notes on my coffee cup. I could be seventh in line and they start making my drink.’ The baristas knew he took his grande nonfat latte with two Splendas, extra hot with no foam.”-loc 3134

“After the storm, many citizens left New Orleans to live elsewhere, but those who stayed were determined to rebuild. They loved their city. In some respects, their attitude reminded me of villages in Rwanda that exuded a palpable combination of desperation and fortitude and hope and self-resilience as they tried to recover from the 1994 genocide. I knew that when Starbucks’ almost 8,000 store managers, 900 district managers, 120 regional directors, 250 international partners, dozens of senior leaders, and support staff converged on the city for a week in October, we would do much more than help ourselves. We would help the community…..
But if the week felt like a rah-rah, feel-good corporate party, it would fail.
If it was a self-indulging trade show, a tense lecture, or a boring training seminar led by talking heads, it would fail.
It had to be visceral. Interactive. Genuine. Emotional. Intelligent.”-loc 3185

“All told, Starbucks’ partners volunteered approximately 50,000 hours of time in New Orleans. It was unprecedented, and I was beyond proud. Our partners were as well. Proud of the impact we were able to make during our visit to New Orlean, as well as even a little bit prouder of the company that we had come to rebuild…..
Whenever I see someone carrying a cup of coffee from a Starbucks competitor, whether it’s an independent coffee shop or a fast-food chain, I take their decision not to come to Starbucks personally. I wonder what I, as Starbucks chairman and CEO, might have done to keep them away and what I might do to encourage them to come back or to try us for the first time. I ask myself what I can do today to win someone’s business and earn his or her loyalty.”-loc 3295

“(Bono) He speaking in our own language about the absolute necessity of companies to do well by doing good.
Some people say, ‘Come on, markets are not about morals, they are about profits.’ I say that is old thinking. That’s a false choice. The great companies will be the ones that find a way to have and hold on to their values while chasing their profits, and brand their value will converge to create a new business model that unites commerce and compassion. The heart and the wallet…. The great companies of this century will be sharp to success and at the same time sensitive to the idea that you cannot measure the true success of a company on a spreadsheet-‘”-loc 3354

“It was apparent to all of us what it meant to love something-and the responsibility that goes with it.”- loc 3428

“The ad (by BBOD) worked because it it not about Starbucks, but rather about what Starbucks is about, especially just coming out of New Orlean: community and personal responsibility.”- loc 3462

“The confluence of the beautifully conceived and executed commercial, the SNL spot, the digital marketing, and the resulting news coverage sparked conversation and store traffic. On that seminal day, Starbucks was so much more than a source of great, free coffee. We were a communal gathering place, which was, after all, what we’d set out to be.”-loc 3560

“Such deep cost analysis was a very healthy process for the company and its management. We could not control the economy, but we could exert greater control over how we operated in it-not just by reducing or freezing new spending, but also by designing a less costly operating model.”-loc 3618

“I tried, admittedly not always successfully, to keep my feelings in check when interacting with our partners. I was acutely aware of my mood’s domino effect, and first and foremost our people needed reassurance of my own confidence. That’s why the freedom I felt to be candid with Olden and trusted friends proved as psychologically beneficial as it was educational.”-loc 3666

“Much more than just the global economic landscape was changing. More than stock prices and housing values were in flux. The cultural zeitgeist was shifting beneath our feet. Habits. Priorities. Trust. Expectations. The crisis was forcing people all along the economic spectrum to come to terms with new realities and redefine how they lived in the world.”-loc 3689

Dec 3, 2008, before the Wall Street analyst conference, Howard brought Billy, an outsider from the company for a rehearsal. “This was, again, such an uncharacteristic fear for me, not to mention an unlikely scenario for the company, but my anxiety had reached a fever pitch. It had been such a long year. An endless treadmill as Starbucks planned an executed new products and events, one after the other. And we were still waiting for most to bear fruit. I had experienced such highs with the annual meeting, Pike Place Roast, and New Orleans, yet also such lows with store closures and the layoffs and Sortetto and our sinking market capitalization. Our CFO quitting at such a crucial time had put me over the edge. As 2008 drew to a close, I was simply exhausted. Physically and emotionally.
‘Howard, you have to stay the course,’ Billy reassured me with his steady tone and even a smile. ‘You have to stay true to your values and true to the company’s core. Those are your rudder now. And when the seas clam and the winds shift…and,’ he went on, ‘the seas will calm and the winds will shift, unless you believe that the economy is never coming back. Or that all along Starbucks’ value proposition and connection to its customers has been a ruse. Or that the millions of people will walking into your stores every week all over the world are kidding themselves. Now is the time to stay focused on the moves you have to make to rightsize the business, to innovate, and to return to the core. The confluence of these factors will propel Starbucks forward and will make all of today’s naysayers positive about Starbucks again. I am absolutely sure of this.’
Billy was not telling me anything I did not already believe.
But he was telling me things I needed to hear.”-loc 3753

“With my full knowledge but admittedly tempered enthusiasm, the food team continued to study the sandwich to address my complaints as well as customers’ pleas, and they discovered that improving the quality of the ingredients-leaner bacon, higher-quality ham and cheese-helped reduce the aroma. They also learned that the tang of the English muffin was partly to blame for the sharp smell, so we adjusted the recipe with our baked goods supplier and also offered more bread options, such as ciabatta. Finally, by moving cheese to the top of the sandwich to about 300’F, the cheese was less likely to burn. The result was, I had to admit, a breakfast offering that was worthy of our coffee.”-loc 3814

“In fall 2008, the retail world was on sale….
The unique challenge for Starbucks, however, was how to honor consumers’ needs for lower prices and reward our core customers’ loyalty without putting Starbucks on sale…..
Still, we had to do something for our core customers. As Costco’s Jim Sinegal had advised us earlier in the year, we could not let them slip away. Giving them value at almost any cost would be much less expensive than trying to win them back.”-loc 3822

“Going into 2009, I was insistent that Starbucks go after big, bold, original ideas, but I also appreciated that those ideas, such as Sorbetto, could not be fueled by instinct alone. they had to be relevant to our business, scalable, thoroughly tested, integrated across business channels, and embraced by our partners in Seattle and in our stores.
In short, a new idea’s execution had to be as good as the idea itself.”-loc 4056

“…instead of asking ‘why?’ I asked, in true entrepreneurial fashion, ‘Why not?’….
And while I might not have specifically articulated this back then, I sensed that Starbucks had the potential to once again create new product category so that, one day, coffee lovers who once would not have dreamed of drinking instant coffee would drink ours.”-loc 4125

“In 2006 the team developed a three-year plan, and build into their schedule was an initiative to refine one of the soluble powder forms to such a degree that it could stand on its own when mixed and stirred with hot water. In other words, JAWS was back on our R&D radar. The work, which still needed to be conducted in secret, was renamed Stardust.”-4165

“Sometimes, the earliest days of Starbucks seemed very far away.
Like straining to remember the sound of your child’s voice as a toddler as he or she heads off to college, Starbucks’ nascent days got more elusive as the company grew.
But then an old friend would pop a head into my office, or maybe I would walk into the original Pike Place store, and a scene or feeling from the past suddenly came alive for me, crystal clear, as if it had occurred yesterday. and in a way, it had.”-loc 4215

“Now I had to do much more than raise money. I had to raise tens of thousands of spirits; engaging our partners in a shared purpose and then leading them toward a shared future. I recognized that many of our partners were burdened with fear. Fear of risk. Fear of public failure. And in an uncertain economy, fear for their own futures, which were tired to the future of the company. But I could not allow this fear to hold us back.
So I put a stake in the ground. Starbucks was going to do what people said could not be done and build a billion-dollar business on instant coffee.
There was a lot of debate internally about this. Should we even associate VIA with instant, given its negative connotation? Was our new coffee even in the same category as instant? Eventually, our creative studio crafted a simple, elegant turn of phrase that effectively reframed the way the product was viewed. A phrase that connoted a new beverage as well as a new behavior. The line-‘Starbucks coffee, in an instant’-said it all.”-loc 4275;4340

“‘Tell me what you are seeing in terms of consumers today,’ she further inquired, a question I got a lot because Starbucks stores around the world often serve as barometers, even early indicators, of spending behavior.”-loc 4435

“At the end of our visit, Mr. Lorenzi handed me a gray paperback book translated into English from Italian. I read the title: That Shop Via Montenapoleone by Aldo Lorenzi. Its thick, textured cover ad creamy pages felt as handcrafted as the cutlery encased in glass, and on the flight back to the United States I sat back and turned to the first chapter. ‘I love our shop…’ read this first sentence, written with that conviction of a man who truly knew his trade. I was hooked.”- loc 4587

“Whether Starbucks stores could feel small as the company grew big, balancing efficiencies with romance, was a question people constantly asked me, and I was routinely criticized for daring to believe such a balance could be achieved. But striving for balance between extremes is a trait that has long set Starbucks apart from so many other consumer brands. And while over the years my attention has wandered from time to time, at no point have I ever given up my intention that Starbucks should find equilibrium between the personal and the profitable and deliver shareholder value through the lens of social conscience.”-loc 4616

We are proud to have a traditional type of shop, which had remained true to itself over the years, but it must not be forgotten that this creates the need to keep it ‘fresh.’ The more that furniture, floor and fittings age, the greater the need for meticulous and periodic maintenance. Old is beautiful, but not if it is neglected. -Aldo Lorenzi, The Shop in Via Montenapoleone”-loc 4627

“‘Starbucks is here to stay in Rwanda,’ I stated succinctly. ‘We are deeply committed to Rwandan coffee and Rwanda. We are going to be buying Rwandan coffee for many years.’ It was our shared responsibility, Starbucks’ and the farmers’, to ensure both fairness and quality, which would increase the amount we were able to purchase, the price we could pay, and the profit the farmers could realize.”-loc 4911

“At its core, I believe leadership is about instilling confidence in others, and being in China at this juncture as Starbucks turned a corner was an opportunity for me to allay fears about the company’s stability and then get our people excited about what is possible. About dreaming big. And then bigger.”-loc 5197

“I’ve said that every enterprise and organization has a memory. And those memories create a path for people to follow…..

[following from transformation agenda]Grow with discipline. Balance intuition with rigor. Innovate around the core. Don’t embrace the status quo. Find new ways to see. Never expect a silver bullet. Get your hands dirty. Listen with empathy and always communicate with transparency. Tell your story, refusing to let others define you. Use authentic experiences to inspire. Stick to your value, they are your foundation. Hold people accountable but give them the tools to succeed. Make the tough choices; it’s how you execute that counts. Be decisive in times of crisis. Be nimble. Find truth in trails and lessons in mistakes. Be responsible for what you see, hear, and do. Believe.”-loc 5204

“Growth, we now know all too well, is not a strategy. It is a tactic.”-loc 5293

“Standing not far from pallets that transport some 65 million pounds of green coffee beans into the facility each year, I was reminded of Starbucks’ earlier days, when my office was located in the former roasting plant. Back then, at the end of every day and before I headed home for the evening, I would walk the plant’s floor. The partners always expect me, knowing I would make the rounds, usually stopping at the roasters’ cooling tray to rake my hands through the beans and feel the coffee between my fingers before saying goodnight and thank you to everyone. At that time, the company was small enough that I knew each partner’s name. Small enough that I knew their families. Two people from those days still work for Starbucks, Michael McNulty and Dave Seymour.”-loc 5479

It’s a part of me, and I’m a part of it.

Long story between me and Starbucks.

17 years ago, my aunt came back to Beijing from Japan. After a family get together, she took me to a Starbucks and I had my first caramel Macchiato. 

7 years ago, I started grad school and got a research assistant position in a psyc lab on Green St. The campus Starbucks is right downstairs. I remember myself came to the lab in a storm, get into the shop and grab a hot egg nog latte. The same year in Chicago, Jim took me to that Starbucks on State St. He orders the usual-a vanilla blond, which is three pumps of vanilla syrup in a blond roast drip coffee. 

6 years ago, I met Dev in the Starbucks right across the street of the Art Institute. He showed me his songs and I liked them. He promised me to send me his album link after finishing the whole album.

5 years ago, I moved to Northbrook and met S for the first time in the Starbucks. I was there earlier, reading To Kill a Mocking Bird when he came into the door. I saw him in the Sherlock T-shirt, smiling at me like the sun. 

4 years ago, we had a trip to Disney and stopped at Starbuck in Anaheim for breakfast. He tried the Chai and told me it’s not bad, and left his venti cold cup at the shotgun side. That was the last time I saw him before I left. I took that cup, flew for 6248 miles back to Beijing, and painted the firework we’ve missed that night on the cup. The same year, I got an email from Dev, he told me that he finished the album and sent me the link to his songs. I absolutely loved all of them.

3 years ago, I went back to San Diego to see him for the last time. We ended up at the Starbucks at Carmel Mountain Plaza and shared a lemon pound cake together. The same year after my trip, I started working at Starbucks in my community in Beijing. 

2 years ago, Howard had a trip to Beijing, and I sneak to Beijing Fun to see him. By then I’ve already had too many memories with it. So I told him, the one makes the story came true, that I’m happy to work here, and thank you for giving the homeless a home. The same year, I learnt V60, French press, making espresso, and got my black apron; I went to plogging and volunteered in a Hope School. Read the stories of the place I now still call home. The same year in my own store, I met W, my favorite regular in our store.

Last year, I learnt aeropress and Chemex. Visited almost all famous independent coffee shops in Beijing. I’ve had so many stories with all of our partners and our customers. Written pieces of notes for each of them. Saw a regular get pregnant and then the baby in her arms.

This year, I got W’s WeChat and we talk outside of the store. The baby already could say hi and bye to me. 

There are so much more encounters, surprises, gifts and memories of my life stemming from this store. It is the same everywhere, but each store has a unique finger print. I love it knit my 17 years together and through the fragments of some of the most beautiful moments in my life, I see myself in you, and also you in me.